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The official InsideNU terms sheet

Step into our world.

(Ed note: We first published this last year. Now that we're joining the SB Nation community, we thought it would be a good idea to bring it back to explain some of our terms to our new readers and explain Northwestern to the rest of the Big Ten.)

Sometimes we say strange things, or things that non-Northwestern fans might not be familiar with, or strange things Northwestern fans who don't live on the Internet might not be familiar with. So we've created a term sheet, similar to the terminology page on Eleven Warriors. This glossary will grow, and if you have anything to add, shoot us an email at or tweet to us at @insidenu.


AIRBHGAngry Iowa Running Back Hating God. Morphed into ANRBHG for the 2013 football season.

Beckman'dA Tim Beckman struggleface or an Illinois sideline interference.

B1G - An abbreviation for Big Ten, and also a reference to punting, slow things and lack of points/offense.

#B1GCATS - Northwestern's self-ascribed hashtag for its sports teams. To borrow a quote from Mean Girls, "Stop trying to make #B1GCATS happen. It's not going to happen." (The real hashtag is #Northwestern.)

CAPA - The union that could potentially represent Northwestern football players.

Cats - Wildcats.

CC - Shorthand for basketball coach Chris Collins. Not to be confused with CeCe, the commenter-given nickname for writer Callie Counsellor.

Central - The street where Ryan Field and Welsh-Ryan Arena are located. Also the "L" stop near there.

Chicago's Big Ten Team - What Northwestern wants to be. Also their marketing slogan.

Crean'd - When a coach argues with a reporter, like the Tom Crean-Chris Johnson feud.

DRtg - Defensive rating.

aFG% - Adjusted field goal percentage. Takes into account three-point shooting. aFG% = [(total points - FTs made) / 2] / FGA. (Also eFG% — effective field goal percentage — with KenPom equation (FG + 0.5 * 3P) / FGA.

Fitz - Football coach Pat Fitzgerald.

FT Rate - Free throw rate = FTA / FGA.

"Go 'Cats" - Pat Fitzgerald's signature sign-off phrase. Also used as a verb by Northwestern students and fans.

Grit, tough, fighters - Chris Collins' favorite words.

Hat - A hat that is also the trophy for the Northwestern-Illinois rivalry. Also known as the LOL (Land of Lincoln) Hat.

Io_a - Making fun of the fact that Iowa tends to lose to Northwestern more than it probably should. (You see, NU took Iowa's "w.")

jNW - "Just Northwestern." Iowa's response to Io_a.

KAH - Abbreviation for lacrosse coach Kelly Amonte Hiller.

Kenosha - The preseason camp site in Wisconsin that Northwestern visits every August.

KenPom - Refers to statistician Ken Pomeroy, who does statistical analysis of college basketball. Check out

Laking the posts - act of celebration where fans dump the goalposts in Lake Michigan. Reserved for big wins. Like any one.

Law of Gus - The scientifically proven fact that every game Gus Johnson calls will be close.

LOL Rivalry - The Land of Lincoln rivalry played between Northwestern and Illinois. Also a fitting nickname for the series.

Marknado - A spinoff of the critically acclaimed film Sharknado, and nickname for running back Venric Mark.

MIKE - Middle linebacker.

Morty - Northwestern president Morton (Morty) Shapiro.

Nickel - A defensive set with five defensive backs. Also, nickelback, which is both the extra defensive back and everyone's least favorite band.

Northwestern'd - A tendency to lose despite all odds. See "Clemsoning."

NU - Northwestern University. Not the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, which is abbreviated as Neb. or UNL.

NW - Not a grammatically correct abbreviation.

OR% - Offensive rebound percentage = Off. rebounds / (Off. rebounds + Opponent's def. rebounds).

ORtg - Offensive rating. Formulas here.

Pistol - An offensive formation sometimes used by Northwestern.

PPP - Points per possession. Possessions = FGA – ORBs + TOs + (0.475 x FTAs).

The Princeton - The Princeton Offense, a Northwestern staple under Bill Carmody.

Punt to Win - Punting when you shouldn't.

SAM - Strongside linebacker.

SEC Speed - A common term in SEC country, but not a thing.

SID - Sports Information Director, as in the people who let us talk to athletes/coaches.

Sobo - Point guard Dave Sobolewski.

Soft commitment - Pat Fitzgerald's term for recruits who verbally commit but are open to taking visits to other schools. Fitz despises soft commitments.

Sparty No! - Common saying when Michigan State messes up.

Spread offense - A type of offense designed to spread the field, and partially revolutionized by late Northwestern coach Randy Walker.

"Stats are for losers." - Pat Fitzgerald's favorite saying, but also not true.

Superback - Northwestern's take on a tight end/H-back.

Teddy Teddy Greenstein, The Northwestern beat writer at the Chicago Tribune; not to be confused with TV Teddy.

Tempo-free - Advanced basketball stats adjusting for tempo to give a normalized look at how efficient teams are on each side of the ball.

tOSU - THE Ohio State University.

TO% - Turnover percentage = Turnovers / Possessions.

Upper/mid/lower-body injury - The only terms Northwestern or Fitz will use to classify injuries.

"We didn't do the things winners do." - Fitz's favorite euphemism for "we played badly."

Wildside - Northwestern's student section.

WILL - Weakside linebacker.

Young men - The word Fitz frequently uses to describe his players.

Zone blocking - Northwestern's main blocking scheme, explained here.

Zone read - A play commonly used by Northwestern (and many other football teams). Some explanation of the play here. (Commonly referred to as the read option.)

1-3-1 - The 1-3-1 zone, explanation here. Commonly used by Bill Carmody at Northwestern.

1995 - The first year of Northwestern football. Right?

1-0 - What Northwestern tries to "go" each week. Also the go-to phrase for media-trained NU players during interviews.